Got a Secret Santa coming up? Or are you looking for the ideal gift for the drivers and gadget geeks in your life?
We’ve gathered some of our best car gadgets of 2020. Some of these are curious and quirky. Others are so useful that that special person may soon wonder how they ever got by without them. And of course, every time they use them, they’ll think of you!
The Portable Espresso Machine
Barista-standard coffee while on the go? It’s possible, and you don’t even need to go to a drive-thru Starbucks. This portable espresso machine is lightweight and powered entirely by hand, so there’s no need to worry about charging it or carrying extra batteries or compressed air cartridges. Just add your ground coffee and look forward to a hot cup of delicious coffee, just the way you like it, even when you’re miles away from your nearest Costa. More info here.
The Magnetic Phone Car Mount
Add this to the “genuinely useful” pile. Smartphones have largely replaced dedicated sat-nav systems for in car navigation. But you do need a means of propping up your phone so you can see it at a glance, without it blocking your view and without being tempted to touch it while driving.
Phone mounts that rely on suction cups tend to be fiddly and unreliable. But this one uses a magnet that connects to a small metal plate you stick on your phone. The magnet’s so strong that not even the roughest road surface would dislodge your phone. And best of all, the mount clips easily into any of your car air vents, so you’d be able to see your phone with no risk of blocking your windscreen. Now why didn’t they think of this sooner? More info here.
Never Lose Your Car Keys Again!
Nobody likes misplacing their car keys. It’s particularly stressful having to search frantically for your keys when you’re in a hurry. Well, you need never have this problem again with the Tile Mate. Just attach it to your car keys, and then, if you ever misplace them again, you can use a phone app to find them in seconds. It works the other way round, too! You can use the Tile Mate to locate your phone, that you’ve misplaced. More info here.
A Personal In-Car Robot Assistance
The in-car version of the Amazon Echo has been available in the US for some years. It’s now finally available in the UK. Connect it to your car’s aux-in port or Bluetooth, and you can use voice commands to stream music, set reminders, make calls, check petrol prices, and more. More info here.
Mini fridges for the car are nothing new. But the latest models are special for three reasons. First, they don’t use much power, so you don’t need to worry about draining your car battery. This makes them much quieter, too. Second, they warm as well as cool. You can’t use them to roast a turkey, but warm food will make roadside picnics feel significantly more luxurious. Finally, they look lovely – stylish, compact, sophisticated, with a choice of colours and designs. More info here.
The Cordless Vacuum
It’s light, it’s bright orange, and it has a range of attachments to clean the various different parts of your car: A narrow hoover for the crevices, a brush for the upholstery, and even a squeegee for the windows. It’s completely wireless, so very easy to use. And you get all this for about £13! Just be careful not to send the wrong message. Give this to a friend, and they may start to wonder if you think their car’s too dirty. More info here.
The Unbelievable All-In-One Car Gadget
It’s called the Roav SmartCharge F2. But a better name would be: “Is there anything I can’t do?” Plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and use the two USB ports to rapidly and substantially charge your phones or other devices. It has built in Bluetooth and FM transmitters, so you can use it to stream music, listen to the radio, and make hands-free calls. That’s not all! It also has a Car Locator system, which can plot your car’s position on a map you can view using a dedicated app. Great for finding your car in a crowded car park, and conceivably a fantastic anti-theft device too. More info here.